Image by Tavits Photography
Image by Tavits Photography

We’ve been singing the praises of The Groove Cruise ever since we went on their first fully chartered expedition out of Los Angeles back in September of 2013.  That was the first time that Whet Travel, the travel experience company behind the Groove Cruise and other nautical music-themed events, had taken over a full cruise ship on the West Coast.  What we experienced was something out of this world, and we’ve been coming back for more ever since. The most recent Los Angeles Groove Cruise (GCLAX 2014) was a gigantic leap forward in production and atmosphere, creating an even more remarkable experience from beginning to end.  And while we feel like Groove Cruise veterans already, there was one experience missing from allowing us to feel fully comfortable with that designation- The Groove Cruise Miami.


Read our Review of the 2014 Groove Cruise LA X


That all changes January 28th to February 1st, because Rabbits Black will be covering the Groove Cruise Miami Xi for the first time ever.  It’s the original Groove Cruise, the one that started it all back in 2004 with a group of only 125 people.  The 11th edition is set to sail with 2,750 people, more than 40 DJs, 9 stages and 96 hours of nonstop music.  And while the Groove Cruise might be one of the most well run music festivals we have ever been a part of, the experience is not an exact science.  You never know what secret DJ sets will pop-up, what artist will blow you away, or who you will be standing next to during that unforgettable set.  In the spirit of the eleventh edition of the Groove Cruise, we picked 11 artists that you simply can’t afford to miss on this year’s experience.

Artists are listed in order of appearance on the official Groove Cruise Miami Xi lineup.

Oliver Heldens

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One of the biggest additions to the Groove Cruise family, no one’s had a bigger past 18 months than this Dutch DJ/producer, who is only 19 years old!  Heldens signed to the EDM powerhouse Spinnin’ Records in 2013 and his first releases unfortunately did not garner very much traction.  This all changed the moment he released the single ‘Gecko’ which exposed the world to his unique sound.  Since then his style morphed its way into an entire genre now known as Future House which has DJs all over the world sampling it.  Tchami is the other big name in the future house scene, but no need to start a debate on who truly started the genre as they both have unique styles they bring to the table.  ‘Gecko’ caught the ear of none other than Tiesto, who signed Heldens to his label and released the song with the addition of vocals from Becky Hill and renamed the song ‘Gecko (Overdrive).’  He followed up with the release of ‘Koala’ (see a pattern here?) which was also well received.

His remix of Martin Garrix’s ‘Animals’ brought a new light to a song that had been played into the ground, which is always refreshing since that is such a difficult task to accomplish.  Since he took off with the release of ‘Gecko’, Heldens has been touring nonstop, performing at some of the biggest festivals in the world such as EDC, Tomorrowland, Electric Zoo and Stereosonic.

This guy’s not going anywhere and he’s only going to get bigger, so please welcome him to the Groove Cruise family and be sure to catch his future house vibes at the Sunset Pool on Wednesday!

Sharam

Sharam came to fame as one half of the house music duo Deep Dish along with fellow Iranian DJ Dubfire.  The duo is responsible for 90s remixes with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Slipknot, and Michael Jackson.  While their remix work quickly earned them fame within the popular music world, their fans came to love their live performances as one of the first duo acts before electronic music had become a household name.  Sharam has been performing solo since the early 2000s, but his slot on the Groove Cruise Miami at the Incorrect Afterhours stage is what has us so excited for this specific performance.  Sharam is a legend of early house music, and the fact that we all get to witness an after hours set by him while sailing on a cruise ship with the sun coming up is truly special.  There is some serious early influencers star power on the first day of Groove Cruise Miami Xi with Erick Morillo performing that day as well.  We can’t wait to see how Sharam transitions the party from Wednesday night into Thursday morning.  This is a legend on the decks.

New World Punx

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You know these guys are a pretty big deal when their appearance on the Groove Cruise Miami Xi was announced back on April 15th of 2014!  That’s almost 9 months ago, and for quite awhile they were the only confirmed act on this year’s Groove Cruise Miami.  If you can keep the hype up for that long with the combination of Markus Schulz and Ferry Corsten performing as a duo, you know the Groove Cruise brass is going to go all out for this party.

As a duo, Markus and Ferry and have only released a handful of tracks as New World Punx, but each one is an absolute banger.  Masterfully blending trance with big room instrumentals, there are no lyrics to New World Punx songs, only insanely catchy and mind numbing build ups and progressions.  Their latest release “Torque” is the most recent example of how good the two of these guys can be together.  It’s catchy enough to be something that you would listen to everyday, but it also has the build up and grand scale to be one of those tracks you save for those big moments.  New World Punx will be headlining the first party at the private island Fantasea in the Bahamas.  Will the island still be there after these two are done?  No promises.  Our only complaint is that we would love to see Ferry and Markus perform solo sets on the cruise as well.  With 96 hours of non-stop music, it just doesn’t seem right that these trance legends will only be performing for such a small portion of it.

Teenage Mutants

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Don’t let the name fool you; this is a one man show who, like the Ninja Turtles, was born from the underground. Teenage Mutants originally started off as a duo but chances are if you’re heard any tunes with this moniker it’s a product of the solo act.  Based in Mainz, Germany, he rarely comes to the US so this is a treat for Groove Cruisers!  Truly aimed to make people dance the night away with funky deep/indie house grooves, Teenage Mutants debut release on Off Recordings “Hanging On” reached number 1 and was a smash hit in 2013.  Soon after he released “Out of Time” which climbed all the way to #7 on Beatport.

As of now this appearance will be his only US stop in 2015, so checking out his ‘Incorrect After Hours’ Set is a must!  Oh and for all those Michael Jackson fans, we dare you to check out his collaboration with another underground kingpin, Sharam Jey, entitled ‘Understand Me’ and not be sold immediately (Click to Listen).  Turtle power!

Sidney Samson

Samson was one of our favorite acts on Groove Cruise LA, so we couldn’t have been more pleased when we saw his name on Miami’s lineup!  Samson is the epitome of a DJ that plays to the crowd, which is great for an atmosphere like Groove Cruise because the audience is so diverse.  Instead of going in with a planned set, he feeds off the crowd which results in one hell of a good time for everyone.  His set at the Neptune Pool on Groove Cruise LA X was definitely one of the most memorable moments as he had that entire deck dancing their hearts out!

To give you a little background on Samson, he started at the age of 14 and never looked back.  He was able to land himself a residency at a big nightclub and then focused on his production, allowing the release of the song in 2003 that blew open the doors for him: ‘It’s all Funked Up.’  The song gained traction and motivated him to focus even more on the production side, leading him to release a slew of hit singles over the years including ‘RIVERSIDE’, ‘Shut Up and Let Go’, ‘Wake Up Call’ (ft. Steve Aoki) & ‘Mutate’ (ft. Lil Jon).  His production success has been influencing top DJ’s set lists over the past decade and has allowed him to tour all over the world and perform at the biggest festivals, from EDC Las Vegas to Ultra in Miami.

Samson will be sure to have one of the most diverse and fun sets of the trip, so make sure to catch him in the Theatre on Thursday!

Dean Mason

If anyone embodies the spirit of what the annual Groove Cruise DJ Contest is all about, it’s Dean Mason.  Dean was the winner of the 2012 Groove Cruise Miami DJ Contest, and with already 5 years of deck experience under his belt, he took that opportunity to help launch what has become an already impressive career.  In 2014, his singles “Higher” and “Fairydust” climbed the Beatport charts while live he performed with the likes of Erick Morillo and ATB.


Read our Interview with Dean Mason here


While Dean always brings the energy and passion to his live sets, especially on the Groove Cruise, there’s more than a few reasons to make sure you catch him in Miami.  You will get the chance to join the #TEAMADDICTED family.  Dean’s Officially Addicted brand has grown into a lifestyle and clothing brand that you can’t miss on the Groove Cruise, and of course there is always the chance that you will be featured in one of Dean’s awesome recap videos.  Great music, a fun party, and the chance for YouTube fame?  Be there.

 Anthony Attalla & Cocodrills

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Anthony Attalla performing on the Groove Cruise LA X.

What can we say about Anthony Attalla that we didn’t already capture in our recap of Groove Cruise Los Angeles this past year.  Attalla’s Incorrect After Hours set this past October in Los Angeles was one of the most talked about moments on the last cruise.  Since then, Attalla has actually done even more to solidify his position as a Groove Cruise fan favorite.  His recent performance at Exchange LA was pretty much a Groove Cruise reunion earlier this month.  Yes, we are talking a lot about the LA Groove Cruise right now, but Attalla is a fan favorite no matter what coast he is on.  The best part about Attalla’s set is that it will once again be followed by Cocodrills.  If Attalla came out of Groove Cruise LA as a legend, than Cocodrills came out as the hottest new act with a set that came out of nowhere was talked about everywhere.  Will magic happen once again on the Groove Cruise Miami?  We would bet on it.

Arty

Russian born Arty, at the ripe age of 25, already has a lot to hang his hat on.  In 2010 he was signed onto the preeminent label created by electronic music icons Above & Beyond, Anjunabeats, and has placed in DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs every year since, peaking at #25 in 2011.  He has worked alongside some of the biggest names in the industry, including Armin van Buuren, Gareth Emery, and Markus Shulz.  But Arty has a style all his own that separates him from the pack, which can be heard especially in tracks like the addictive “Up All Night” and the more sultry “When I See You.”  This performance should definitely stand out during the action-packed week.  Your best bet is to get to the Theatre stage early on Saturday and post up somewhere near the stage, and just let the beats come to you!

Thomas Gold

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2014 has been a huge year for Thomas Gold, who has simply blown the fuck up after the release of two monster tracks, “Beast” (co-produced with Borgeous), and more recently “Colourblind” (feat. Kate Elsworth) on none other than Hardwell’s famed Revealed Recordings label.  The festival house producer and DJ hailing from Berlin, Germany, has absolutely torched the club circuit this summer, playing in over 20 countries, and he’s showing no signs of fatigue yet.  Indeed, his run-up to new years–consisting of shows in Las Vegas (at his Light residency), then Vessel in San Francisco, then NYE in Croatia–should be a clear indication to this effect.  Expect this show to bring the four to the floor bass in heavy rotation, with gorgeous bikini-clad girls throwing their hands up on their friends’ shoulders.  And what else could you possibly ask for on a cruise dedicated to raging?

Feenixpawl

Feenixpawl, a traditional house duo consisting of  Aden Forte and Josh Soon, are just plain, good old fashioned fun.  Originally a mainstay only in the land down under (where they call home), they rose to international fame a few years ago with their infectious remix of Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep.”  While these guys might not yet pack a crowd like Adele, they have been steadily building a name for themselves, having played at Electric Zoo, Stereosonic, and TomorrowWorld.  And they’re willing to remix just about anything they get their hands on, so if you’re tired of hearing the same four Avicii and Calvin Harris tracks on repeat at the other stages, make sure to head on over to the Bahamas Beach stage on Saturday to catch these Aussies mix and stir up something fresh!

That’s a wrap friends.  11 artists that you can’t miss on the Groove Cruise Miami Xi.  But just to be clear, that doesn’t mean the other 30+ artists won’t blow you away.  That’s what the Groove Cruise is all about.  New experiences and mind blowing performances.

Only 8% of the cabins for Groove Cruise Miami Xi remain!  Book yours now here with the discount code: rabbitsblack

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